by Alina Bradford
Creative Kids' Rooms on a Budget
The Cheapskate's Guide to Children's Rooms
I love to decorate my kids' rooms. I have found, though, that if you're not careful, you can waste a lot of money and create an impractical room without even realizing it. If you have very young children in your home, then you know how destructive kids can be. That is why it is smart to decorate your children's rooms in a kid-friendly way. You'll replace things less and clean less, and you'll spend less when you realize what you really don't need.
Many people don't think about making windows kid-friendly, but here are some things to think about. Blinds in young children's rooms are generally a bad idea. They are hard to clean, but also they are dangerous. Not only can a child get strangled in the pull cord, but they can also get tangled in the slats. This happened to my daughter. She wasn't hurt badly, but the blind was demolished. If I had thought about it first, I could have saved money and bought something more appropriate.
Cloth curtains are the best for children's rooms because they can be taken down easily and tossed into the washer. They can also be hung on the line to dry. A simple way to make cheap, colorful curtains is to buy two twin sheets use the hem on the top that can slide onto a rod.
If you have a child that won't take naps because the light is too bright in her room, buy a length of colorful felt, cut small circles at the top, and use ribbon to tie it to the curtain rod. I did this in my oldest daughter's room. It worked like a charm and only cost me around $10.
The paint on doors wears faster than any other place in the house. Painting and repainting can add up to big bucks wasted over the years. A way to protect the finish is to put protective metal plates at the bottom of the door and around the knob. These can be found at most hardware stores and are easy to install.
When most people think of children's rooms they think nice, plush carpeting. And why not? It's cozy. If you have children with allergies, though, think twice. Carpets in children's rooms tend to get dirty quickly, collecting dust mites and allergens. Self-sticking linoleum tiles are much cheaper and easier to keep allergens at bay. Also, it makes Kool-Aid spills much easier to clean up and modeling dough doesn't get stuck in tile. There will be no stains, which means no money spent on carpet cleaners or new carpeting.
I've seen those cute, overdone kid's rooms in women's magazines, too. The ones with big fluffy chairs, hand painted wooden tables and flouncy lace vanities. They make a mother like me sigh with nesting instincts, but they are totally impractical and incredibly expensive.
Remember that the more lace, cloth, and delicate things that are in a children's room the harder it is to keep clean. Kids are hard on furniture, so the smart parent buys kid-proof furniture that will last.
Better, affordable picks are play tables, chairs, and toy boxes made out of sturdy, colorful plastic. Rubbermaid makes some great pastel and primary colored bins that make great toy boxes, and with a lid on, they make spiffy play tables. I love that the modeling dough doesn't stick to them and that paints simply wash off.
Large expensive dressers are impractical in a child's rooms. Many parents buy them too big and too bulky. Kids can't possibly learn to dress themselves when they can't even pull open the drawers to get to the clothes in the first place. I've found the best solution is inexpensive plastic three-drawer units that you can be purchased through companies such as Sterilite.com. They are light with small drawers that kids can easily reach into and open. Plus, at the low price, you can buy extras for organizing small toys and art supplies.
As you can see, there are many cost-efficient ways to decorate a child's room so that it works well with a child's naturally rambunctious nature.
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